Adapting settings for systems

prosfilaes

Adventurer
I was writing up my own campaign setting (because.) and thinking about publication (again, because.) There is an area plagued by single monsters coming off the mountain on an annual basis, say, cloud giants or adult green dragons.

In Pathfinder, an adult green dragon could be dropped by roughly 1700 arrows fired by the Human Warrior 2 in the NPC codex, assuming the dragon didn't bother attacking. In D&D 5e, the young red dragon (since I don't have an actual MM, I'll use that) could be hit much easier, and there's no DR to make it nigh immune to militia, so a mere 120 arrows could drop it. So a militia fighting off such monsters is much more realistic.

So does it matter? Should WotC, or I, or any other publisher, stress about such details where converting editions or publishing for multiple editions? The Avatar transition for Forgotten Realms (1E -> 2E) seems ham-handed, at least in retrospect, but the very fact that I'm thinking about this goes to the annoyance of some players when story elements in the world don't make sense when held against the rules of the game.
 

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Henrix

Explorer
I really prefer that the worlds are consistent, and not changing
unnecessarily just for the sake of minor rules changes.

I'd say that the difference between exactly how many arrows it takes to kill a dragon isn't that interesting. (In 5e the dragon would just have to fight the militia a little smarter, and not just charge in blindly.)

Player characters need to do things differently, but mostly it is in small details that you don't need to get into.
They defeated the old dragon at much cost, and with the aid of the Immutable Staff of Rhialto. Enough said.

I even think that the changes in the Realms for 4e were too much. Most of the things could easily have benn snuck in by smaller means - you didn't need new countries smashing into the world or a cataclysmic spellplague.

The differences between 1-3e, PF and 5e wouldn't need to make much difference in the world.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
I'd say that the difference between exactly how many arrows it takes to kill a dragon isn't that interesting. (In 5e the dragon would just have to fight the militia a little smarter, and not just charge in blindly.)

A 15-fold change in the number of arrows is not "exactly"; it really makes a militia attack possible. If the dragon got smarter, the militia could get smarter.

The differences between 1-3e, PF and 5e wouldn't need to make much difference in the world.

They do if you want to change the list of races, and the changes in spellcasting imply huge changes in the world; the number of sorcerers that appeared in FR in 3E was a nontrivial change if you care about things like that.
 

Henrix

Explorer
They do if you want to change the list of races, and the changes in spellcasting imply huge changes in the world; the number of sorcerers that appeared in FR in 3E was a nontrivial change if you care about things like that.

Races can, and have, been introduced many times apart from the edition changes. No cataclysms were needed for all the half-dragon, -fiendish and -whatnot creatures that appeared during 3e. Nor when goliaths appeared.
Half-orcs don't have a nation, but PCs can play one. Why does FR need an entire country to smash into it for dragonborn?

Stuff very much like sorcerors have been around longer than the class. Beings with pretty much unexplained magical powers.
From a world building perspective perhaps they have become a little more common, or else more tales are told about them.

The world didn't change for every kit introduced in 2e, nor for every new class that appeared during 3-4e.

I'll grant you that 4e's magic system may have required some changes - but the spellplague or yet another war between the deities of magic could have sufficed for that. (Perhaps Elminster took Mystra for a drink in an alternate world so she got drunk.)


There's always a difference between the stories we tell, the world we describe, and the rules we use to play in it.

You can play in the Realms using D&D, GURPS, HeroQuest, FATE, 13th Age or whatever you want - but it'll still be the Realms you are playing in.

In other words, don't sweat it.

The poor militia using Pathfinder rules won't know their fight is hopeless, they don't have access to the PHB or MM.
They'll try to organise resistance as well as they can anyway. No matter if it requires 100 or 5 000 arrows to take their foes they have to try.

And for the valorous militia playing in 5e... well, they won't be able to fire 120 arrows at the same target anyway.
And they will melt under the green dragon's venom anyhow (whether their saving throw succeeds or not).
 


prosfilaes

Adventurer
The poor militia using Pathfinder rules won't know their fight is hopeless, they don't have access to the PHB or MM. They'll try to organise resistance as well as they can anyway. No matter if it requires 100 or 5 000 arrows to take their foes they have to try.
That's not true. Any solider in Afghanistan would quickly know if they were under D&D rules, the instant someone evaded a hand grenade and took several shots without flinching. In this case they're facing a large monstrosity every year. If they can kill these things with miltia, they will. If they can't, then they're going to need high-level characters to handle it. I really prefer the first, but I think it stands out when combined with a rules system that makes that impossible.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
There is a free online supplement for Hoard of the Dragon Queen with stats for adult red, blue, and white dragons here:

http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/rpg-products/hoard-dragon-queen

Your most accurate free comparison is likely an adult blue dragon in the listed scenario. How many arrows would it take in that case?

Thanks. An adult blue is CR 16 in D&D 5, so that's a bit higher then I would like, but a white is CR 13. It's not hugely different; with a +3 to hit and an AC 18, that's 1 in 4 arrows hitting, and with no DR, that's 1d8+ Str or average 5ish damage per hit, which runs out to 320 arrows for an adult blue. An adult blue is also stupider then the demihumans and humanoids it's fighting, so I'd put more money on the humanoid smart tactics then the dragons.

(A blue would be 1 in 5, and 5 * 85 HP, so 425 arrows.)
 

Astrosicebear

First Post
In the DMG and partly the MM I believe, they list the effects a dragon roosting in an area would cause. A White may chill the land for miles, a green may cause crops to decay, etc. So the monsters affect their areas directly.

Now, in regards to militia... dragons may not be able to do calculus, but they can identify numbers. And why would a dragon just randomly attack a town? Are they provoking it? Do they have treasure it wants? Why isnt it feeding off the farmers cows? If you want to quibble about how many arrows it takes to bring it down, why are dragons blindly throwing themselves at civilization in your setting?

Yes dragons attack, but are you going to have a militia of 350 at every farm? No dragon above 5 int would attack a city/town they know they cant defeat. They pick the easy targets of least resistance. So now they are a nuisance, and then a few farmers die, now a threat. Are 350 militia gunna walk up the mountain to the dragon's lair? I dont think so. Thats why its up to adventurers.
 

Henrix

Explorer
Any solider in Afghanistan would quickly know if they were under D&D rules, the instant someone evaded a hand grenade and took several shots without flinching

You're aware that we are talking about the difference between flavours of D&D, not between reality and D&D?


Anyway, as I said, the differences are small, on the whole.

The story is that big honking dragons swoop down on the poor villagers who desperately try to organise defences, because, hey, it's better than not trying - and they probably have some sort of militia anyhow.

The odds of them dying is ridiculously high no matter what flavour of D&D you play. In their best case scenario they just have to get off some hundred arrows when the dragon is at a reasonable distance (150' if they have longbows) and probably swooping down at them, killing them automatically with it's breath.
The only ting they know about the odds is that it's pretty darned slim.


In other words, don't sweat it.



Go check out some of the Forgotten Realms novels and see if you can spot the difference between AD&D and 3e*. (Or, even better, between the 3e era books and the 5e books. Things have changed in the world, back and forth, but the descriptions of how the world works is the same.)


* But skip the 4e era books. The world changed dramatically there, and magic worked very differently. And it is hardly relevant when comparing 5e and PF.
 


prosfilaes

Adventurer
You're aware that we are talking about the difference between flavours of D&D, not between reality and D&D?

You did say "using D&D, GURPS, HeroQuest, FATE, 13th Age or whatever you want". I'm pretty sure the leveling in-world of D&D 5 would be noticeable, too; suddenly street thugs can land a fist on adventurers.
 

Thanks. An adult blue is CR 16 in D&D 5, so that's a bit higher then I would like, but a white is CR 13. It's not hugely different; with a +3 to hit and an AC 18, that's 1 in 4 arrows hitting, and with no DR, that's 1d8+ Str or average 5ish damage per hit, which runs out to 320 arrows for an adult blue. An adult blue is also stupider then the demihumans and humanoids it's fighting, so I'd put more money on the humanoid smart tactics then the dragons.

(A blue would be 1 in 5, and 5 * 85 HP, so 425 arrows.)

If you want to guess further, you can assume the green is CR 15 (Red 17, blue 16, white 13 implies green 15 and black 14), although I'm not sure how the stats would change (don't have the MM yet).
 

Henrix

Explorer
I think I'll change tactics here:

Given your assumptions it seems evident that you need to change a lot in your setting between D&D5 and PF, seeing that the probabilities for grunts killing a are different. ;)
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
If you want to guess further, you can assume the green is CR 15 (Red 17, blue 16, white 13 implies green 15 and black 14), although I'm not sure how the stats would change (don't have the MM yet).

It doesn't really matter; it's a stream of arbitrary monster CR 12ish monsters. It's made me think about how much implicit change I've made to these monsters by making them into unintelligible monsters in this world, which actually does have some effect.
 


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