AD&D 2nd Edition Converting 2e and 1e adventures





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  1. #1

    Converting 2e and 1e adventures

    So I'm looking at converting a 2e Dungeon magazine adventure, the Mud Sorceror's Tomb. It occurs to me that there are a few things that make this a bit difficult.

    1. Most of the encounters are with one or two creatures, at least in this adventure. I'm going to have to make things interesting within the encounter or have to add more monsters to the encounter (which shouldn't be too much of a problem).

    It is tough in this adventure to 'combine' encounters though...they're pretty well separated by puzzles, traps, etc.

    2. In 4e, traps are part of encounters, but in 2e they're usually outside of the encounters. Not really sure how to deal with that...especially in those situations that can kill the PC outright (ala pillars dropping on them).

    Anyone else have any experience at doing this?
    -- Hailstop

    ----------------------------------------------
    "And what would a 'Realms changing disaster' look like in Dark Sun anyway? The Sorcerer Kings lay down sod? A Halfling population explosion? Elves invent running shoes? " -- Andor

 

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    ° Ignore Jan van Leyden
    Quote Originally Posted by hailstop View Post
    1. Most of the encounters are with one or two creatures, at least in this adventure. I'm going to have to make things interesting within the encounter or have to add more monsters to the encounter (which shouldn't be too much of a problem).

    It is tough in this adventure to 'combine' encounters though...they're pretty well separated by puzzles, traps, etc.

    2. In 4e, traps are part of encounters, but in 2e they're usually outside of the encounters. Not really sure how to deal with that...especially in those situations that can kill the PC outright (ala pillars dropping on them).
    Typically, 4e characters need some space to maneuver in order to fully use their powers. What about changing the size of the rooms: make single rooms big enough for the group of PCs, while other rooms in which the monsters wait, are rather small. So the PCVs should be inclined to move through the tomb after they have triggered a monsters and they might just trigger a trap on the way. Some traps could be re-designed as encounter hazards in this way.

    One or two important traps could be handled as skill challenges. The players know about the trap's existence and they try to find a way to disable or circumvent it. If they fail the skill challenge, the trap is triggered.

    Or make the whole exploration of and movement inside the tomb a skill challenge. With each success they move closer to their goal, each failure leads them to a combat or a trap. This might work well if the task is not to explore the tomb to the last square inch, but to reach a definite goal, like slaying the restless dead within the tomb or retreive some treasure.
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    ° Ignore Thanael
    Why not simply use the updated 3E version from Dungeon 138 (available for $ 2 a paizo)? There also a free handout available here. Also check out these hooks for it from Candlekeep

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    ° Ignore the Jester
    So the encounters are separated by traps and stuff? Can you make these traps part of the encounter?

    Or maybe just use a bunch of elite and solo monsters.

    Or throw in a bunch of hazards.

    Or just let the small encounters stand- but use higher level monsters. So if you're running a 1st level group, you could use standard 3rd or 4th level monsters instead of 1st, and just use 2/encounter plus a hazard or something.
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    ° Ignore Obryn
    It requires a bit of a shift in perspective, IMO.

    In 1e-3e, by and large Rooms were the basic encounter element. While there was a lot of interaction between rooms (particularly in the better 1e adventures), usually you went from room to room fighting as you go. Each room is a discrete encounter.

    In 4e, "Areas" are the basic encounter element, and often these are composed of several dungeon rooms.

    Try to get an idea of how the dungeon is divided up into separate areas, rather than trying to do a faithful room-by-room breakdown, IMO. This will also make it much easier to incorporate traps as part of an encounter, rather than as separate obstacles which take place outside of encounters.

    I hope that makes sense.

    -O

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    ° Ignore Badwe
    I've been curious about converting old 1e and 2e adventures as well. I was wondering if anyone has already done some so I can get a feel for their treatment of the source material. Also, what are some good places to find old adventures or are there any particularly simple 1e/2e adventures that people here recommend to practice converting?

    Most of my group of players, myself included, have very limited experience with actual D&D prior to late 2e/early 3e. Thus, i'm interested in experiencing some of that "old-school feel" i keep hearing about, but with my own twist. I've managed to acquire just about all of the published modules from the era thanks to my stepdad who used to play, and i think there might be some dungeon/dragon magazines in there too.

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    ° Ignore jcayer
    A couple months after 4E came out, my party had progressed to the point where I felt I could run them through X2, Castle Amber. Not truly a 1e or 2e module, but close enough.

    A couple things to keep in mind. Keep the spirit of the module. A great example of this is a ghostly banquet early in the module. I had to modify almost all the effects of the food, but it is still one of the most memorable events I've DM'd for them.

    Another really important thing to consider is most of these have rooms that just won't work with tactical combat, they are just too small. So you'll either have to modify the map, the monsters, just draw the room bigger, or a combination of the three.

    The final thing is the monsters. In X2, there is a room of Rakshasa. In the expert setting, they are like level 2 or 3 monsters, in 4E, 15th and higher. So you'll have to deal with that.

    It was a bit of work, but easier than creating from scratch as there was the framework that I have always loved regarding the module. I was able to keep to it for the most part, and at the end, my cousin who had DM'd it for me 20 years ago said it was excellent.

    Don't be afraid to just dive in and give it a whirl.

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    ° Ignore Nebulous
    I converted a 2e Dungeon adventure called Tallow's Deep into a 4e dungeon romp. I put in a story hour you can read here if you want:

    4e TALLOW'S DEEP

    I thought it converted very well. The biggest adjustment was the amount and types of enemies, but 4e easily accomodates that. I also lengthened it with several new encounters and subplots so it is fairly longer than the original. It has a lot pictures so might load sorta slow, sorry.




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    ° Ignore Connorsrpg
    I find converting creatures and groups of creatures from early editions of dnd quite easy. Much easier than for 3E, simple b/c of its 1 orc = challenge for 1st lvl party. Old editions used several orcs and 4E makes that easy too. The old monster write-ups that show what % of a given race carry certain weapons are great ideas for writing variations on the race

    Admittedly small hallways and rooms do not suit 4E, but doubling their size often works, or simply adjust the map.

    You can still count sev rooms as one enc, and in regards to the prob of one monster encounters, 4E has a great system just for this - make them solo monsters.

    Cheers, C
    Homepage for all my roleplaying:http://connorscampaigns.wikidot.com/. Includes many GM Tools, Character Sheets, etc for DnD & Savage Worlds.

  • #10
    Well, there aren't a lot of monster encounters in this module, but lots of traps. Which is probably the tougher problem. With 4e, traps and hazards are considered basically another monster in the encounter, but in previous versions, traps were usually outside combat.

    The problem is having the traps be enough of a hazard to cause problems. For instance, acid in a trap in our first session caused 4d8 damage to the Wizard, but he'll be able to deal with that easily. It's almost like you need to smack them with 50+ hp damage. Some other conditions (like say weakened...from a poison that in 3e caused Str or Con dmg) will need to continue for longer, into the next encounter before being a problem.

    As for Castle Amber, that's my all time favorite module, mostly for the banquet. :-)

    Hmmmm...I wonder if that'd make a good Paragon level adventure in the Mournland. :-)
    -- Hailstop

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    "And what would a 'Realms changing disaster' look like in Dark Sun anyway? The Sorcerer Kings lay down sod? A Halfling population explosion? Elves invent running shoes? " -- Andor

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