D&D E6 for D&D 5eThe following is a workup of D&D E6 for the D&D 5e ruleset.
What is D&D E6?E6 is D&D 3.5 variant which limited player character levels to a maximum of six. This was implemented to prevent full spellcasters from gaining insurmountable power compared to their non-full-spellcaster counterparts. This was in part influenced by the tiering system of classes. Variations of E6 arose which adjusted how characters progressed by level six among other additions to the homebrewed ruleset.
E6 is often associated with low-powered play and gritty play.
Changes to the RulesPlayer characters advance as normal, but all advancement stops at level six. Following this, as a player character gains experience, he may spend the experience to gain an ability score increase (+1 to any one ability score, maximum 20) at each level after six.
VariationsThe following are variations of how characters progress in an E6 ruleset. These variations exist to expand how characters advance so as not to short-circuit character advancement in the E6 ruleset.
Class AbilitiesWhen a character gains a level, they gain the next level of abilities for that class, but do not receive the standard E6 +1 ability score stat boosts or other Stat increases, such as additional hit points, unless the character ability provides it, such as Ability Score Advancement. It is recommended that dice stacking abilities be given a maximum value of six dice. (This means abilities like a Rogue's Sneak Attack should not be higher than 6d6.)
Hero SpellsThis **E6 Class Abilities (above)** variant allows spellcasters to dabble in more powerful magic. Spellcasters who obtain a level that provides them spells above their normal level six maximum gain the Hero Level Spell Slot. This spell slot functions as a spell slot of the next highest level. (This would be 4th-level spell slots for Wizards, for instance.)
Additional levels provide additional spells per day for the hero spell slot at normal levels, but a character never obtains the next level of spell slots. A character may not have more hero spell slots than the normal maximum number of spell slots for their next highest spell level.
A character may use this spell slot to cast hero spells, which would include spells above their normal maximum. A hero spell uses a hero spell slot when cast. A spellcasters does not learn hero spells through levels; instead, hero spells are obtained through adventuring as rewards. A non-hero spell may use a hero spell slot to acquire abilities for using a higher spell slot.
It is recommended that hero spell damage values be adjusted for E6 play. A starting point would be to use the Dungeon Master’s Guide to determine reasonable values.