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 Post subject: dragonmech, and e6
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:25 am 
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here's some food for thought from enworld's boards:

THE E6 VARIANT FOR D&D / D20
http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=206323

While i know it would definitely bring certain things from books like steam warriors out of the realm of possibility for many characters, this variant could also explained the reasoning behind the creation of Mech's. 6th level warrior, meh. 6th level guy with a mech... WOOT.

Please read and discuss, i want to know how everyone feels about the possibility of using E6 with DRAGONMECH


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:12 pm 
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Interesting. I was not familiar with E6 until now, but it looks like the sort of thing that would fit my style of play nicely.

As you say, it would make mechs that much cooler, lunar monsters that much scarier...hmmm. I'll be pondering this.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:08 am 
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One thought I had today was that even at level 6 + feats, it might be extremely difficult to make some of those sky high Mechcraft DCs required to construct mechs in the first place. You might need to design a mechcraft feat chain that would allow characters a chance of succeeding.

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 Post subject: craft DC's
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:21 am 
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mythfish wrote:
One thought I had today was that even at level 6 + feats, it might be extremely difficult to make some of those sky high Mechcraft DCs required to construct mechs in the first place. You might need to design a mechcraft feat chain that would allow characters a chance of succeeding.


yes i had that same thought myself. here's some basic math i did on the matter. at 6th level, a coglayer could have a maximum of 9 ranks in craft (mechcraft). assuming an average-high intelligence score of 16 (+3 bonus, we're working with a base bonus of +12. If we tack on skill focus (another +3) and the feat that adds to know(steam eng) and craft (mech) thats another +2.

so at 6th level our coglayer, assuming he's focused on wanting to eventually make his own mechs, tops out at a craft (mech) bonus of +17. Pretty impressive for a 6th level character. Requires some dedication.

Now we have to re-evaluate the design process. With the e6 variant the probability that any mech would be designed wholly by a single individual is pretty slim. At this point we get into the aid-another mechanic. The DM would have to determine just how many other coglayers, steamborgs, mech jockeys, or whatever, could assist in this task. considering the humanoid proportioning of most mechs (some irontooth clan variations aside), i'd say that subordinates could assist by taking over the design of other smaller sections like arms and legs while the master designer focuses on the core mechanical parts like the engine and such contained in the torso or head. So let's say... 4 assistants.

Assuming these assistants are first level coglayers built much like our primary coglayer, they could easily beat the basic DC 10 aid-another check requirement, each adding another +2 to the master coglayer's check for mech design (for an assist bonus of +8 ). So now we have a total of +25 to the design roll. Now we're getting somewhere.

But wait, there's more! I can't for the life of me remember which book its in, but one of the wotc books introduces a mechanic where you can aim for higher bonuses to assist another by aiming for a higher DC. basically, by every 5 points you increase your DC, you add an additional +1 to the assist bonus if successful. but you have to declare how high you're aiming before you roll. so if you say "i want to give a +3 assist" your DC becomes 15 instead of 10.

Now were cooking with coal!

Let's say we have those same 4 assistants, but lets add a few levels to them. say, 2, making them third level coglayers with a couple of feats under their belts. with 6 ranks in craft (mech), skill focus, and the other skill booster feat, and an int of 16, we top their bonus out at 6+3+2+3= +14. Hey! these guys could esaily lend a hand for a +3, or have an excellent shot at +4, or more if they feel froggy!.

Okay let's add this up again. our master coglayer has +17, our 4 little assistants manage to throw in for +4 each, thats another +16 to the roll. Now we have a total bonus to the die roll of +33! I don't have my books with me, but i think the bastion, a basic mech design, and oddly enough my FAVORITE, had a craft DC of about 39. these 5 guys could design one of those, no problem. this is without any houseruling to make mech-design more feasible.

Now I know that as mechs get bigger they get more and more complicated and the craft DC REALLY get's up there. But with that increase in size you could also increase the number of possible assistants, as you would have to break the larger mech up into smaller pieces for each person to work on/design.

So again... i think with the e6 variant the big complex mechs would still certainly be possible, but the DM would have to allow for teams of coglayers (or whoever has the apropriate feats) working together to design them instead of one master genius. Which in its own way makes sense. NASA sure didnt hire one guy to put the space shuttle together. :)

just a few thoughts.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:26 am 
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Ah, yes. I had forgotten about the aid another mechanic. It makes having assistants necessary in most mech construction, and that makes perfect sense to me.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:22 pm 
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Since it doesn't seem possible to be considered a 9th level caster in E6, it's not possible to get the Craft Magical Mech feat without changing the requirements. Just for fun, I whipped up the capstone feats for the core DM classes, the prestige feats for two of the easier prestige classes, and a few other miscellaneous feats. Let me know if you have any input.

Gear Forest Mastery [General]
Prerequisites: Clockwork Ranger level 6th.
Benefit: You gain the Swift Tracking and Gear Forest Stride class abilities. Gear Forest Stride functions like the Ranger’s Woodland Stride, but appropriate to gear forests.

Steam Power Excellence [General]
Prerequisites: Coglayer level 6th.
Benefit: You gain the Integrated Parts class ability, and your maximum skill ranks for the Craft (mechcraft), Knowledge (mechs), and Knowledge (steam engines) skills is increased by one.

Expert Pilot [General]
Prerequisites: Mech Jockey level 6th
Benefit: You gain the Mech Fingers- Skill Transfer class ability, and your maximum skill ranks for the Mech Pilot and Knowledge (mechs) skills are increased by one.

Stalker Ability [General]
Prerequisite: Stalker level 6th
Benefit: You learn one stalker special ability.
Special: This feat may be taken only once.

Quick Repairs [General]
Prerequisite: Steamborg level 6th
Benefit: You can be healed 1d8+3 hit points once per day with a DC 15 Knowledge (steam engines) check.

That Piece Is Important [General]
Prerequisite: Craft (mechcraft) 10 ranks, Knowledge (mechs) 10 ranks
Benefit: You gain the stalker/coglayer class ability That Piece Is Important.

Steam Power Improvement [General]
Prerequisite: Character level 6, the ability to maintain steam powers
Benefit: You gain the ability to maintain an additional steam power.

Anklebiter Training [Prestige]
You have begun training as an anklebiter.
Prerequisite: No other prestige feats, character level 6th, Balance 5 ranks, Climb 5 ranks, Jump 5 ranks.
Benefit: The following skills become class skills for you: Balance, Climb, Jump, Knowledge (mechs), Listen, and Spot. In addition, you gain the Tools class ability.
Special: You may not gain this feat if you already possess any other prestige feats.

Rapid Boarder [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Anklebiter Training, Climb 9 ranks
Benefit: You gain the Rapid Boarder class ability at +1.

Bloody Invader [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Anklebiter Training, two or more prestige feats
Benefit: You gain the Bloody Invader class ability.

Connections [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Anklebiter Training
Benefit: You gain the Connections I class ability.

Good Connections [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Anklebiter Training, Connections
Benefit: You gain the Connections II class ability.

Excellent Connections [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Anklebiter Training, Connections II
Benefit: You gain the Connections III class ability.

Trample Evasion [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Anklebiter Training, Reflex save +5, three or more prestige feats
Benefit: You gain the Trample Evasion class ability.

Steam Weapon Adept Training [Prestige]
You have begun training as a steam weapon adept.
Prerequisite: No other prestige feats, character level 6th, base attack bonus +5, Knowledge (steam engines) 5 ranks
Benefit: The following skills become class skills for you: Climb, Craft, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (steam engines), Mech Pilot. In addition, you are considered proficient with all steam powered personal weapons and armor.
Special: You may not gain this feat if you already possess any other prestige feats.

Build Up [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Steam Weapon Adept Training
Benefit: You gain the Build Up class ability.

Steam Weapon Repair [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Steam Weapon Adept Training
Benefit: When repairing or building steam weapons, you receive a bonus to your Knowledge (steam engines) check equal to the number of prestige feats you have, to a maximum of +4. This bonus does not stack with the Coglayer’s Machine Empathy ability.

Steam Weapon Mastery [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Steam Weapon Adept Training, two or more prestige feats
Benefit: You gain the Steam Weapon Mastery class ability for one steam weapon.
Special: This feat can be taken more than once. Each time it applies to a different steam weapon.

Maintain Steam Power [Prestige]
Prerequisite: Steam Weapon Adept Training, three or more prestige feats, Knowledge (steam engines) 9 ranks
Benefit: You gain the ability to maintain a single steam power.

Awaken Construct [General]
Prerequisites: 6th level, ability to cast 3rd-level spells, Knowledge (steam engines) 9 ranks
Benefit: You can use awaken construct, as the spell, with an expensive and secret magical ingredient with a market value of 1000 gp. If the spell is successful, you permanently lose one point of Intelligence.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:32 pm 
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nice, i like. i think i've decided to run the remainder of my dragonmech campaign as an e6 variant, with mostly agreement form my players.

my coglayer is concerned that he will not be able to adequately advance in his classes abilities; the capstone feats you presented will help a bit. its going to take some time to explain to the group that with e6 you will have to diversify after 6th level :)

i'll try to remember to post any additional feats we come up with for perusal as they come up.

i think for anyone suddenly changing to an e6 variant, one should allow a rebuild of the characters as their focus may shift a bit in terms of feats and goals.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:15 pm 
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E6 really bothers me but at the same time, I agree that it's a good idea. It creates a lot of problems - high level spellcasting/powers, prestige classes, high level prerequisites for feats - but yes, it does keep D&D more human. And it really does feel like 1st edition. It'll be interesting to see where the system goes.

Mark Charke

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:02 pm 
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Charke wrote:
E6 really bothers me but at the same time, I agree that it's a good idea. It creates a lot of problems - high level spellcasting/powers, prestige classes, high level prerequisites for feats - but yes, it does keep D&D more human. And it really does feel like 1st edition. It'll be interesting to see where the system goes.

Mark Charke


I don't see that it really creates any problems, but then I don't think I've ever played a campaign where the characters got higher than 8th level anyway. We always stopped playing by then because we never enjoyed the higher levels as much. So for us it's perfect. For someone who likes the higher levels, not so perfect. :)

And I'm definitely curious to hear how your campaign goes, modus, so keep us updated.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:34 pm 
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I've run to mid 20's. The main problem is one their addressing with 4th edition, characters get so bloody complicated it takes weeks to do combat and you always forget one or more of their abilities.

The idea of more hit points, higher stats, more damage - that's easy stuff. The problems occur with immunities and other "all or nothing" abilities which crop up a lot at higher levels. Make the saving throw or die - isn't a good game mechanic. Players either always make that save, or they don't play the game cause they're always writing new characters.

Mark Charke

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 Post subject: my take on e6
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:04 pm 
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for those who reallylike the high powered coolness of higher level play, e6 most certainly isnt for them. no harm done :) i wouldnt expect every game, or even all of my games to go to that variant. heck my drow war game certainly wont, that thing is destined for level 30 heheheh. but for sustaining that "highly skilled but still mortal characters versus big odds" feeling e6 really works.

i do, however, have some concerns as it pertains to dragonmech.

spellcaster types will, under normal circumstances, have access to feats that allow them to learn additional spells and even gain additional spell slots (see complete arcane). coglayers, (and to a lesser extend, steamborgs) at this point, have only the "gearhead" feat with regards to steam powers (this is working from just the basic dragonmech book); logically they SHOULD be able to learn more steam powers over time as the spellcasting types could, but this also poses some problems from a balance standpoint.

see, a second level spell will still always be a second level spell, there are limits to how powerful it can become in terms of damage and effect even with a metamagic feat applied. steampowers on the other hand, hand be stacked over and over for increasing effect, referring most specifically to boilers and amplifiers. in order to prevent coglayers from being able to individually construct steam powers with ridiculous damage while spellcasters are restricted to the upper limits of their 2nd and 3rd level spells, some sort of artifical limit would need to be applied to any capstone feat which would allow access to more steam powers.

my suggestion would look something like this:

Additional Steam-Gadget [General]
Prerequisites: knowledge (steam engines) 9 ranks
Benefit: you gain one additional steam power
limitation: no steam-powered device you create may have more individual parts than the maximum # of steam powers you could maintain before you first acquired this feat

example: say at 6th level you could maintain a maximum of 10 steam power (just pulled a number out of the air). then you gained additional steam gadget. you could now maintain 11 steam powers but the maximum # of parts in any steam device would be 10. this would effectively limit the upper damage range of steam devices, hopefully keeping them in line with spellcasters of the same level in an e6 setting but still allowing expansion of the coglayer's abilities.

what do you think? we may need to amend this as it pertains to multiple coglayers working together... perhaps limiting their contribution to the overall steam power to the aformentioned upper limit?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:00 pm 
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Modus are you the writer, or a writer, for E6?

I'm playing Vampire right now and it's what people call a very deadly system. Your vampire starts with, effectively, 6 hit points or so, and those never go up. You can improve your chances of avoiding damage, but the point is that you are always at risk, no matter how tough you get. Thats kind of neat and it has, in part, encouraged role playing.

D&D characters get in the mindset that they can "take it on" no matter what after a certain level. All respect for authority vanishes. I've had them attack Kings, assuming that the King should be a low level character surrounded by many 0th level NPC followers the Players should be able to wade through.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:25 pm 
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Charke wrote:
Modus are you the writer, or a writer, for E6?


me? no im not originator. i've just been looking at it a lot as an intruiging d20 variant. the originator is Ryan Stoughton. you can find the e6 discussion thread at enworld here:

http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=206323

Quote:
I'm playing Vampire right now and it's what people call a very deadly system. Your vampire starts with, effectively, 6 hit points or so, and those never go up. You can improve your chances of avoiding damage, but the point is that you are always at risk, no matter how tough you get. Thats kind of neat and it has, in part, encouraged role playing.


are you talking about the white wolf vampire system? i've played vampire in every edition except the newest one. i just couldnt afford the new books heheh. yes damage is always a real threat in that system.

Quote:
D&D characters get in the mindset that they can "take it on" no matter what after a certain level. All respect for authority vanishes. I've had them attack Kings, assuming that the King should be a low level character surrounded by many 0th level NPC followers the Players should be able to wade through.


i've seen this as well, especially post level 9-10 or so. a lot of parties assume the dm wont sent them against anything they can handle, and retreat seems to leave the average gamers mindset at that point. i think e6 can help curtail that a bit, as the orce horde will pretty much always be a threat. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:28 pm 
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Charke wrote:
I've had them attack Kings, assuming that the King should be a low level character surrounded by many 0th level NPC followers the Players should be able to wade through.


Reminds me of when I floored my players with city guards that were three levels higher than them. It stood to reason (to me) that if a city gets adventurer-types coming through, and the city has the money, they're going to have guards able to handle said adventurers.... :twisted:


I could've sworn I posted in this thread a day or two ago, about e6, but apparently I fell short of hitting the submit button(?).

The jist of my post was how I like the low-magic implied by e6, and my thought on making levels above 6 into story rewards for the end of long adventures or campaigns. Achieve something that has a real impact on the world? Gain another level. Meet up with a high-level magic-user? Be afraid -- this guy has literally changed the world!

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General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:37 pm 
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I think this would also be a great way to play a first campaign for new players. No worries about tons of numbers and abilities and whatnot, just stupid simple fun. :D (stupid simple doesn't mean stupid in a bad way)

And it would work great for a zombie infestation campaign too!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:57 am 
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Whatever the setting, I think E6 is a great idea. In a level-based game, upper-level play gets bogged down by number crunching. And, as Mr. Charke pointed out, upper-level characters are hard to challenge unless you load the world with Godzilla-size threats, which causes other problems. Chopping off the troublesome upper levels is an elegant solution.

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 Post subject: a concern about feats and stacking:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:02 pm 
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a small concern cropped us during play in my recently converted e6 dragonmech campaign.

my steamborg player just took his first level in barbarian, primarily so he could qualify for the Piston Rage feat as detailed in the Shardsfall Quest. In summary the feat adds additional strength equal to the artificial parts bonus the steamborg has.

in a regular game this wouldnt be much of a problem, but in an e6 variant where feats are more plentiful over time, i had a moderate concern. the steamborg will be able to eventually max out his artifical parts at something in the neighborhood of +8 or +10 or so, partially thru magic items and partially thru use of the Pushing the Limit feat from Steam Warriors. This means that while raging the character will gain a total of +12 to +14 strength while raging. With the ability to purchase Extra Rage I'm afraid this could mean the character spends most of every combat encounter in this enhanced state which may be a bit overbalancing in his favor.

I'm debating over whether or not my concern is valid. Will the feats the other players get over time put them on an even playing field? I'm not sure yet. If not, how can I restrict the Piston Rage to keep it balance without completely denying it to my player?

Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:28 pm 
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Answers off the cuff, without unpacking my books to review the specifics of the rules...

1) Reduce or eliminate access to the Extra Rage feat. That way your borgbarian can have his massive bonus, just not all the time.

2) Halve the effects of Piston Rage - with the player's agreement. Otherwise he'll think you're nerfing him, because you are.

3) Plan more extended-duration encounters, so he'll have to be more careful about when he rages.

4) Don't worry about it yet. You're the GM. You can always hit him with something so mean that he can't muscle his way past it - archers, poisons, breath weapons, falling...

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 Post subject: Shooting myself in the foot....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:56 am 
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As the steamborg in question I feel I can actually offer up some things I would be willing to accept easily enough.

1. limit strength gained to Modified Con mod.(when raging that'll be 2 better than half of my total parts bonus allowed.)

2. Use of PistonRage! leaves me exhausted instead of the normal fatigued, until I refill my water reserve. (say an extra portion, or even days required water.)

Admitadely the PistonRage! feat makes the E6 variant a little powerful but at least the way I'm imagining it by the time I've got 5or 6 points of STR from artificial parts I'm using and abusing mech grade pistons for that extra edge.

Since I've got lots of time here at work let's make some number magic.

stats

str 20
con 20

All hail the merciful DM for running "Against the Iron Giant" for the stat boosts....

steamborg 4/barbarian 1

with rage stats become 24 each.

str 24
con 24

at 6th level when I can take PistonRage! not too bad of a bonus of 2 str(from the 2 artifical parts from 4 levels of steamborg)

str 26
con 24

just taking artificial parts to increase STR will enable massive hits for massive damage, heavy lifting and a chance to use mech tipping rules by myself....course with the E6 variant I'll be able to spen artificial parts to do all the other parts as well, max out my DEX for my armor, increase my move speed further,increase natural armor, actually have more attacks, and very importantly...more HD!(assuming thing like that are not needing to be completely remove due to the variant...)

But mostly it is relatively safe to assume in most cases every 5,000 xp mean at least +1 str while raging. though I would have to buy extra rage just to do it more than once a day, so every time I take that I'm not getting the str bonus, same goes for the Pushing The Limit feat. so there are at least 2 times in the future I'll not get the str bonus.


The real fear and abusability is if one was to only spend the Artificial parts on increasing Str and combine that with Piston rage. Once it is maxed out it gets pretty rediculous.

Current Str 15 +1(artificial part)+4(enhancement)=20
Current Con 18+2(enhancment)=20(10 artifical parts max)

9 more parts brings that up to 29 str not raging, not an unforeseeable score in normal play for a Str focused character... but when raging..

another 14 str for a total of 43(47 with pushing the limit feat for 2 more parts.)(49 with reckless rage feat)(53 with the con boost feats... taken mostly to represent the steel skeleton class ability steamborgs get at 9th level)

Bwahaha! 53 STR! that's +21 to knock over mechs by myself!( I should also take the feat that gives +8 to STR checks to break things...)

ok feat count time... 8 extra parts, 1 pushing the limit, 1 reckless rage,2 to boost con... 12 feats. at 5k a pop... 60k

Just at the equivalent of half way between 12th and 13th level. minus the HD, saves and skills...


All that assumes all artificial parts are going into str instead of the other cool stuff. Which though it's a good mental exercise, I'm unlikely to do.


Edit: Of course as the Combat monkey I have little problem with most things, the character/player with the hardest time is the coglayer...

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 Post subject: Re: Shooting myself in the foot....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:54 pm 
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Seben-PistonRager wrote:
As the steamborg in question I feel I can actually offer up some things I would be willing to accept easily enough.

Welcome to the forums! Always good to have more people around to discuss stuff with. Especially people who are willing to crunch numbers as you seem to be, since I'm usually too lazy to do it myself. :)

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The real fear and abusability is if one was to only spend the Artificial parts on increasing Str and combine that with Piston rage. Once it is maxed out it gets pretty rediculous.

Current Str 15 +1(artificial part)+4(enhancement)=20
Current Con 18+2(enhancment)=20(10 artifical parts max)

9 more parts brings that up to 29 str not raging, not an unforeseeable score in normal play for a Str focused character... but when raging..

another 14 str for a total of 43(47 with pushing the limit feat for 2 more parts.)(49 with reckless rage feat)(53 with the con boost feats... taken mostly to represent the steel skeleton class ability steamborgs get at 9th level)

Bwahaha! 53 STR! that's +21 to knock over mechs by myself!( I should also take the feat that gives +8 to STR checks to break things...)

ok feat count time... 8 extra parts, 1 pushing the limit, 1 reckless rage,2 to boost con... 12 feats. at 5k a pop... 60k

Woah, that's a lot of STR. I'd call that broken in a normal game, nevermind an E6 game.

The catch is that unless a feat specifically says "You can take this feat more than once", you can only take it once. That means you can only take the Artificial Parts feat once and get an extra part once, period. In a non-E6 game I'd probably house-rule that feat to allow people to take it multiple times, but only being able to take it once seems very much in line with the other class feats in an E6 game.

Part of the way E6 keeps characters from becoming too powerful is by limiting their hp, saves, BAB, etc to 6th level. But through the improvement by feats method it also keeps characters from becoming super-specialists. At some point, your character reaches a limit in his class related abilities and needs to become more powerful by diversifying. A general guideline (or so they say in the E6 thread) is that if a character at 7th or 8th level in a normal game couldn't have it, no E6 character should have it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:32 am 
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Hmmm... thought the feat could be taken more than once.... well that would significantly reduce the potential...

though I could generally accomplish some of the other effects with established feats, I'd just have to locate them all again...

so let's see...
+2 str 2 feats
1 extra part (3 feats total)
1 reckless rage(4 feats total)

hmmm...

22+3+6 = 31 Str.

I'll be able to get all the other stats, natural armor, and a lot of the other things that appear on the artificial parts list, and just call them that.....

Same effect from feats but not so much of an effect on my str... what a shame, no need to restrict the piston rage then.


Of course the 4 BAB stops me from grabbing the nice tactical feats..

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 Post subject: capstone
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:51 am 
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as far as tactical feats though there's always the possibility of creating a capstone feat to allow you to qualify for it, but that type of capstone feat may be limited to characters with dedicated martial/ilitary training, like fighters. kindof like:

Martial Veteran (General) (comrade_raoul)
Prerequisites: Fighter level 6th.
Benefit: You may select feats with a requirement of up to fighter level 8, and with a Base Attack Bonus requirement of up to +8.
Special: A fighter may select Martial Veteran as one of his bonus feats.

[from the e6 thread at enworld]


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 Post subject: limits verses expansion
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Quote:
The catch is that unless a feat specifically says "You can take this feat more than once", you can only take it once. That means you can only take the Artificial Parts feat once and get an extra part once, period. In a non-E6 game I'd probably house-rule that feat to allow people to take it multiple times, but only being able to take it once seems very much in line with the other class feats in an E6 game.


ok, if that is the case it certainly resolves the problem of abusability of piston rage, but it leaves me with another problem of balancing spellcasters against non-spellcasters, which has always been a concern of mine in D&D in general. i addressed the issue earlier with regards to coglayers/steamborgs and steam powers, but i think it gost lost in the shuffle, i'll quote below to reference

Quote:
i do, however, have some concerns as it pertains to dragonmech.

spellcaster types will, under normal circumstances, have access to feats that allow them to learn additional spells and even gain additional spell slots (see complete arcane). coglayers, (and to a lesser extend, steamborgs) at this point, have only the "gearhead" feat with regards to steam powers (this is working from just the basic dragonmech book); logically they SHOULD be able to learn more steam powers over time as the spellcasting types could, but this also poses some problems from a balance standpoint.

see, a second level spell will still always be a second level spell, there are limits to how powerful it can become in terms of damage and effect even with a metamagic feat applied. steampowers on the other hand, hand be stacked over and over for increasing effect, referring most specifically to boilers and amplifiers. in order to prevent coglayers from being able to individually construct steam powers with ridiculous damage while spellcasters are restricted to the upper limits of their 2nd and 3rd level spells, some sort of artifical limit would need to be applied to any capstone feat which would allow access to more steam powers.

my suggestion would look something like this:

Additional Steam-Gadget [General]
Prerequisites: knowledge (steam engines) 9 ranks
Benefit: you gain one additional steam power
limitation: no steam-powered device you create may have more individual parts than the maximum # of steam powers you could maintain before you first acquired this feat

example: say at 6th level you could maintain a maximum of 10 steam power (just pulled a number out of the air). then you gained additional steam gadget. you could now maintain 11 steam powers but the maximum # of parts in any steam device would be 10. this would effectively limit the upper damage range of steam devices, hopefully keeping them in line with spellcasters of the same level in an e6 setting but still allowing expansion of the coglayer's abilities.

what do you think? we may need to amend this as it pertains to multiple coglayers working together... perhaps limiting their contribution to the overall steam power to the aformentioned upper limit?


that was my attempt to allow coglayers the continue to expand their abilities without overbalancing them. since casters will have access to additional spells with:

Expanded Knowledge (General) (PoeticJustice)
Prerequisite: Character Level 6th
Benefit: Choose a spellcasting class in which you have levels. You gain an additional spell known at any level you can cast from that class's spell list.

Expanded Casting (General) (PoeticJustice)
Prerequisite: Character Level 6th
Benefit: Choose a spellcasting class in which you have levels. You gain an additional spell slot at any level you can already cast.

... as well as the feats from complete arcane which may be taken more than once.

my question then becomes: "Since artificial parts are the hallmark of the steam borg, how can I allow him to continue to expand his abilities beyond 6th level without allowing something like piston-rage to overbalance things over time?

some thoughts/options for perusal:

1) beyond 6th character level, allow for additional artificial parts feats to be taken, but limit the number of times they may be applied to any one category of ability, thus forcing the steamborg to diversify his abilities. Example: no more than 2 additional artificial parts applies to any one class of ability beyond 6th (max of +2 str, +2 Dex, etc) with the minmum of that required for the basic ability of course, since some require for than 2 parts. it's a thought that mey need some refining

2) keep things written as is and simply have the additional feats given at post 6th represent additional steam-type abilities for flavor purposes. Since many of the abilities granted by a steam borg could be simulated with the numerous variety of feats out there, this may be way to go. this train of thought still leaves me with the spellcaster balance issue concern, but when i look at it it may not be an issue overally.

a spellcaster can gain 1 new spell/day as a feat, or a martial type like a fighter or steamborg gains a feat that may be used infinite times per day (pow attack, or weapon focus or whatever) so it may balance out.

steam powers are still a concern, as my coglayer fears the e6 nerf bat.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:28 pm 
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Lots of thoughts in more or less random order.

Spellcasters can continue to develop and learn new spells up to 3rd level, because as you say a 2nd level spell is always a 2nd level spell and they're only getting a new thing they can use once per day. The basic issue is that spells generally don't stack to create increasingly more powerful effects the way steam powers and artificial parts do, so while a spellcaster can learn new spells, he's only becoming more powerful in the sense that he has more options at his disposal and can use them more often. He doesn't have any more ability to increase his damage, amount of protection, or whatever in a single moment than he did before. In addition, the extra spell feats made for E6 can only be taken once (I don't have complete arcane, so I don't know anything about those feats, but as DM you'd be well within your rights to say they can only be taken once, or even not at all).

I don't really see limiting a coglayer's number of steam powers as a problem. The number of steam powers a coglayer can maintain is not in any way representative of how many he knows how to build. It's only a limit on how many he can have active at one time. As long as he has parts available and a little time, he can totally change his steam powers around into something new. There are plenty of feats of available (or could be created) that are "becoming a better coglayer" without actually getting more steam powers...such as Wrecker, Superior Checklist, Steam Jack, Secrets of the Steam, Salvage Master, Fast Rebuild, and Ambient Amplifier (just to name a few from Steam Warriors). He could also gain more steam powers in a roundabout way by getting the Leadership feat and a 1st level coglayer follower to help build and maintain more powers. He could also diversify into the realm of mechjockey or steam weapon adept, which are both pretty logical leaps from coglayer.

But even if you do limit the number of steam powers he can have, I think the steam powers available to a level 6 coglayer may be too much for an E6 game. A 6th level coglayer with +2 INT bonus and Gearhead can maintain 12 powers, which can build something like a 4d20 flamethrower. I think limiting the number of steam powers that can be built into one device might be the way to go, but rather than making the number a function of the number of steam powers known, make it a flat number like 5 or 6. If the number increases as the number of steam powers increases, then eventually you're going to run into the 4d20 flamethrower problem anway, you're just delaying it a bit. So say only 6 steam power in one device, and create a feat he can buy once to raise that to 7.

As far as artificial parts goes I'll make more or less the same argument I made for steam powers. There are plenty of feats in Steam Warriors that are "becoming a better steamborg" without actually adding artificial parts...such as Under the Skin, Metal Skin, Humanity Retained, High-grade Steel, and Coupling (not to mention I think most of the Tik'tok feats should be available to steamborgs). Create a feat to give steamborgs more diversity by letting them change artificial parts the way a coglayer changes steam powers. Develop one of the many steamborg prestige classes into a prestige feat chain. A steamborg could easily diversify into becoming a secondary coglayer, a fighter, or a steam weapon adept.

The whole point of E6 as I see it is that you simply cannot continue to progress indefinitely. Eventually you plateau. In my mind, allowing a steamborg to continue buying artificial parts or a coglayer to continue getting steam powers is kind of against the spirit of the thing. At least as I see it anyway.

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 Post subject: good points
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:09 pm 
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my e6 dragonmech game has just hit the level 6 mark. yay. now we get to see how this evolves.

as things stand right now, it looks like i am going to keep things "as written" despite some grumbling from my coglayer. i reserve the right to change my mind later tho.

taking leadership would definitely be an excellent option, too bad my whole party has the charisma of "chompy" the cyborg dire badger from the "iron giant" module. (love chompy). but even then having a small horde of coglayers doing your bidding would be a good way to have more steampowers available;

so far, it looks like the coglayer is angling towards making himself a better mech pilot. currently hes cog-4 fighter-2 and acts as the main pilot; since no actual mechjock is available taking some piloting feats would go a long way towards making the party a mech force to be reckoned with (in their little bastion heehee)

oh btw... for those of you who have run "against the iron giant" my party took the magic-flaming-explosive ballista from the giants shoulder and mounted it on their bastion, little thing packs big punch.

as an interesting note, my constructor mage took improved familiar, and now has a clockwork shocker lizard familiar, neat.


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