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Is switching Age of Worms to 4e halfway through worth it?

Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
Nothing like a new edition to start posting again, eh? Basically, the question I want to ask your advice for: should I convert my 3.5 game or not?

Our group has just finished the 2nd adventure of the Age of Worms, and are now 5th level. I like 4th edition, from what I saw in Keep on the Shadowfell (which I've now played two sessions of to see what everything is all about). What I like most about 4e, is the monster layout, and less prep time. This might be especially helpful at high level. I am also liking the fact that I will do less botches like I always do: "ooops, the creature had this one ability which I completely forgot to use, which would have made the encounter actually exciting instead of the snoozefest you got now".

However, we've got an established group. One player is a dragon shaman, and one is a gnome illusionist. These characters might be hard to convert. Some specific Age of Worms encounters might be hard to convert too. Especially the final encounter... yikes.

My group of five players is split in two. Two are strong proponents of 3e, two are strongly in favour of 4e, and me and another player are somewhat in the middle (though I lean towards converting IF it saves me time or at least doesn't cost me MORE time).

Starting over is not an option, but a very loose conversion is fine by me. As long as the Age of Worms story remains in tact, me and my group are fine.

What would you do in my situation?

Thanks,
Rav

edit: Typo in the title
 

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Hello Ravellion,

I'm DMing my group of seven players through The Spire of Long Shadows - the 7th adventure - at the moment. I have to be honest and say that while prep work is considerable at higher levels (three 14th level characters and four 13th level characters), going 4E would throw it all out of whack for me - as well as taking thrice the time. If I had enough experience DMing 4E I think I could make a go of it, but I would not like to be experimenting with an entire campaign adventure path as one of my first 4E DMing efforts.

In essence, I would vote for maintaining it in 3.5 as it was written and intended. Going 4E will take more prep-time in the end at this stage.

However, go 4E if you and the players were happy to wait for some more 4E product to come out (4EPHBII etc.) and do another 4E campaign first so you could get a better feel for all the powers that are available and thus what would be suitable in terms of conversions. If you go to Paizo's website, I have seen a thread on converting to 4E and so you might be able to get some ideas there if it is what you want.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise
 

I would play it out as 3.5. In the time it takes for you to finish it up, the illusionist and other stuff will come out, making conversion easier, and everyone in the group will have time to get a more nuanced take on what 4E has to offer, or doesn't.
 

keterys

First Post
I was personally finding myself spending a ton of time changing modules to fit my group's power level and abilities in 3.5 - if you're going to have to take a hacksaw to it anyways, then the possible cost of switching is much lower.

At this point, I'm not sure I _could_ run it in 3.5 after getting used to running 4e, so I'd switch, but it can be tough. The gnome could get some powers from the illusionist article posted on wotc's site, and you could easily reflavor a lot of other powers (cold->psychic, change flavor = illusion) and do that. The dragon shaman could be a warlord.

I'd only convert if the players actually wanted to, though.
 

hamishspence

Adventurer
AoW monsters

It would take one heck of a lot of homebrewing to do stats for all those monsters, esp Kyuss, that are both 4th ed-ish, yet still evoke the feel that came from the original monster. But if you are prepared to put in the work, good.

I have about a third or more of AoW, the end third. One missing: Prince of Redhand.

For dracolich, might add wizard template to it: the elite Solo concept. Dracolich with 3 action points, +7 save bonus, more HP, spells, and counting as 6 monsters instead of 5 would be an interesting challenge.

Lashonna: homebrew Silver, or if there are 4th ed rules for Dungeons of Dread silver, start with that. Add vampire lord template (ignore the Humanoids only rule) making an Elite Solo.

Kyuss: combine orcus, Larva mage, and Yuan-ti anathema to try and get something with the feel of Kyuss, maybe.
 

Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
keterys said:
I was personally finding myself spending a ton of time changing modules to fit my group's power level and abilities in 3.5
I don't really do this - I tailor my group's abilities to the powerl level of the campaign :) . Perhaps it's best to stick to 3.5 then. I'll see what I can pillage from 4e.

I'll refrain from informing my group for a moment, to see if there are other arguments around here.

Rav
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Our Savage Tides DM decided he wanted to convert our game to 4E. We'll see how that works out.

Our Age of Worms campaign ended in a disaster. After too many highly deadly encounters against overpowered monsters seemingly breaking any CR guidelines that might have existed, we "decided" to end it with a Total Party Kill and never go back. I don't lay all the blame on the adventure path, the DM didn't do a good job, either. It is really unfortunate, still, because the Adventure Path is said to be one of the best.

But anyway, my experience suggests that reworking the campaign into a 4E campaign might not be _that_ bad. It might actually remove any mechanical or balance problems since you'll have to convert a lot of monsters.

I think a general problem might be that 4E assumes larger encounter areas with more monsters then 3E. That might become a problem with the existing encounters.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Of what I've see, any conversion is way too much hassle for what its' worth.

Now please burn all your non-4E books, and stand in line to buy everything WotC sells you, thank you very much. :cool:
 

hong

WotC's bitch
You're not even halfway through AoW. At 5th level, you're more like one-quarter of the way through it. If you're going to convert, this would be a good time to do it.
 


Silver Moon

Adventurer
My group recently did one Module in that Adventure Path ("Into the Wormcrawl Fissure") and I had absolutely no difficulty in converting it. However, I'll add that my conversion wasn't to 4th Edition rules but to 1st Edition rules.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
Scholar & Brutalman said:
Given my experience playing through Age of Worms you've probably done the best part already. I'd start a different campaign.
Aw mang, you ain't lived until you've done 200 points of damage with Diamond Nightmare Blade to an avolakia sorcerer.
 



True.

But it wasn't just the class. The levels from about 15 onwards felt more like a chore than fun. The first time I'd encountered the problems of those levels combined with story that just didn't mean much to me to produce a pretty tedious experience.

Maybe it's more enjoyable for GMs than players. I just know that it put me off wanting to play 3rd edition again.
 

cangrejoide

First Post
I am currently GMing a AOW 4E. We started last week and so far it has gone great, granted we are still in Whispering Cairn.

If anyone does this conversion, please PM or post your notes on the board. I would love to see your ideas or suggestions.

Right now I'm tackling the EBon Aspect fropm 3 faces of evil, dunno if he would be an Elite or a Solo...
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
hong said:
It could be worse. You could have been a rogue....
It could have been worse. You got have one player character loss each session. And usually always the same player, a player quite capable of creating powerful builds.

We called Age of Worms our "Sterbekasse"-campaign ("funeral expenses fund" would be the translation, but doesn't convey exactly our usage.).

Oh, and we had a Bugbear Fighter/Rogue (Reincarnate was also heavily used as a means for cheap and fast resurrection) and a Rogue. There were apparently still a lot of non-sneak-attack immune enemies. Discernable Anatomies proved a cruical weakness to many enemies. And the Cleric Cohort and the Cleric Radiant Servant of Pelor PC should have helped against the remaining enemy "cast"...
 

Holy Bovine

First Post
Ravellion said:
Nothing like a new edition to start posting again, eh? Basically, the question I want to ask your advice for: should I convert my 3.5 game or not?

Our group has just finished the 2nd adventure of the Age of Worms, and are now 5th level. I like 4th edition, from what I saw in Keep on the Shadowfell (which I've now played two sessions of to see what everything is all about). What I like most about 4e, is the monster layout, and less prep time. This might be especially helpful at high level. I am also liking the fact that I will do less botches like I always do: "ooops, the creature had this one ability which I completely forgot to use, which would have made the encounter actually exciting instead of the snoozefest you got now".

However, we've got an established group. One player is a dragon shaman, and one is a gnome illusionist. These characters might be hard to convert. Some specific Age of Worms encounters might be hard to convert too. Especially the final encounter... yikes.

My group of five players is split in two. Two are strong proponents of 3e, two are strongly in favour of 4e, and me and another player are somewhat in the middle (though I lean towards converting IF it saves me time or at least doesn't cost me MORE time).

Starting over is not an option, but a very loose conversion is fine by me. As long as the Age of Worms story remains in tact, me and my group are fine.

What would you do in my situation?

Thanks,
Rav

edit: Typo in the title

I wouldn't convert AoW to 4E. Of course given the unending slog the thing becomes after Prince of Redhand I wouldn't DM it again for anything.
 

Holy Bovine

First Post
Scholar & Brutalman said:
True.

But it wasn't just the class. The levels from about 15 onwards felt more like a chore than fun. The first time I'd encountered the problems of those levels combined with story that just didn't mean much to me to produce a pretty tedious experience.

Maybe it's more enjoyable for GMs than players. I just know that it put me off wanting to play 3rd edition again.

Nope - it is most definately NOT enjoyable to DM into the high (14+) levels.
 

Mokona

First Post
Convert to 4th edition! Since you're only up to level 5 can we that you won't reach the highest levels of Age of Worms until many more D&D supplements come out? The illusionist can use the free Wizard spells posted on wizards.com...
 

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