This is old news, but I just came across a D&D 3e variant called E6 which is really clever, and is inspired by the classic Dragon Mag piece “Gandalf Was Only A Fifth Level Magic-User.” Basically, it recognizes that a lot of the fun in D&D is at low levels and that the larger level spread causes a bunch of problems. It works kinda like levels did back in 1e, where once you reach top level (6 in this case) you stop getting levels per se, but just more feats – so the power range always stays within a manageable band. The mightiest men are indeed total badasses compared to level one guys but can’t kill a whole country with impunity. I might have been tempted to do it up to level 9 or so instead, but it is a variant that I think would create a very interesting game that really executes on some modes of play much better. Frankly I don’t like 3.5e/PF gameplay above level 10 myself. And come to think of it, the sixth level PCs in my Reavers campaign have ACs up to like 24 and can dole out 30+ points of damage a around – is there really a compelling reason to go up further from there?
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