3/3.5 to 4e conversion cheat sheet?
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  1. #1
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    3/3.5 to 4e conversion cheat sheet?

    Has anyone made a conversion cheet sheet? Something that would allow one to run a 3.5 module and just visually change stats as you go?

    If I were to run a 3.5 adventure with 4e rules I would probably make liberal use of Rule Zero (DM, do what thou wilt), but some guidelines would be nice.

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    It's fairly easy to convert, although I would not try to do it on the fly.

    Off the top of my head, these are some of the rules of thumb I use (would use)

    1. Anything that requires more than 1 skill check becomes a skill challenge
    1.b Any significant part of the adventure that is solved by a single skill check becomes a skill challenge.
    2. Any monster should be between -3 and +3 of the players' levels
    3. Any monster is per default non-elite and non-solo.
    3.b Avoid using 4-5-6 of the same monster in the same encounter. 4e combat just works better if you don't.
    4. All significant boss-monsters are made elite monsters.
    4.b Avoid too many elites unless it's a very significant battle.
    4.c If it's the BBEG, make him 2-3 levels higher than the players.
    5. Reserve solos for the really special fights. Like dragons for example. Resist the urge to make that tough kobold captain a solo mob just because the players encounter him alone. If he has to be alone, make him elite, and add some hazard to balance the fight.
    6. Look over all combats. Make use of the terrain. Add traps and hazards.

    Cheers

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    7. Learn the XP budget rules and use them to normalize fights. You can eventually do this in your head, but you should get some practice doing it on paper first.
    8. Add Minions liberally to make up gaps in the XP budget.

    Cheers, -- N

  4. #4

    Hmm

    Looking over the 4E monsters, a lot seem like they might be runnable almost as-is.

    Though, I have wondered how much the numbers should be adjusted to make them work.

    Pretty straight, off, I've considered:

    1) Adjusting hit points to a fraction of their current value (but I don't know what fraction to use).
    2) Removing the per-level bonus to non-affiliated (2a) skills, (2b) attack bonus, and (2c) defense bonus, and to (2d) saves.
    3) Maybe, adding back in a natural armor bonus to compensate for (2c);
    4) Maybe, adding in a couple of feats and skill bonuses, where necessary;
    5) Maybe, adding some treasure as used items.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomBitonti View Post
    Looking over the 4E monsters, a lot seem like they might be runnable almost as-is.

    Though, I have wondered how much the numbers should be adjusted to make them work.

    Pretty straight, off, I've considered:

    1) Adjusting hit points to a fraction of their current value (but I don't know what fraction to use).
    2) Removing the per-level bonus to non-affiliated (2a) skills, (2b) attack bonus, and (2c) defense bonus, and to (2d) saves.
    3) Maybe, adding back in a natural armor bonus to compensate for (2c);
    4) Maybe, adding in a couple of feats and skill bonuses, where necessary;
    5) Maybe, adding some treasure as used items.
    I am not quite sure what you mean here. Are you suggesting that he uses 3.5 monsters with a few modifications in 4e?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack99 View Post
    I am not quite sure what you mean here. Are you suggesting that he uses 3.5 monsters with a few modifications in 4e?
    (Slaps self.) Oh, I read that backwards ... I was looking at running 4e monsters in 3.5e.

    Moving the other direction seems harder. Adjusting the numbers seems straightforward, but 3.5e monsters don't have abilities that fit in very well to 4e.

    What would seem to be needed would be a list of conversions of common feats and supernatural abilities as 4e style powerz. (Improved grab, I'm looking at you!) IMHO, I think it's a major bummer that we didn't get such a document out of WotC, instead of the marketspeak discussions that were put out. I think a comprehensive guide would unblock a lot of folks from trying more of 4e.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomBitonti View Post
    (Slaps self.) Oh, I read that backwards ... I was looking at running 4e monsters in 3.5e.

    Moving the other direction seems harder. Adjusting the numbers seems straightforward, but 3.5e monsters don't have abilities that fit in very well to 4e.

    What would seem to be needed would be a list of conversions of common feats and supernatural abilities as 4e style powerz. (Improved grab, I'm looking at you!) IMHO, I think it's a major bummer that we didn't get such a document out of WotC, instead of the marketspeak discussions that were put out. I think a comprehensive guide would unblock a lot of folks from trying more of 4e.
    I must admit that I find the opposite to be true. Converting 3.5 monsters to 4e is much easier.

    Anyway, maybe we could do it as a project. If you gather the list of abilities you want translated, I will get them translated. Could be fun

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    Has there been any more work on this, perhaps in another thread or something? I'm quite interested in seeing how some of the conversions turn out.


    -IG

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