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Making new D&D work for old D&D

GENEWEIGEL

Explorer
Hello "new D&D" fans (I should say "newer" rather),

I have returned with greetings from the ancient world! ;)

Seriously, the "new D&D" is dead to me still.

Yes, yes, you've heard it all before.

Whatever!

I want to turn over a new leaf and start a "2e-3e-3.5e to 1e conversion OGL project" right here at ENWorld.

A guide that turns D20 punk into CLASSIC funk!

How about it, girls and boys?
 

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Remathilis

Legend
I guess it depends on what you're converting.

2e was so close to 1e in basic mechanics little conversion is needed for the few things that changed. (Bards, for example). The rest of 2e is pretty much plug and pray.

3.X requires enough work to seriously make me ask "why?" Almost all the 3e races exist in 1e, as do all classes but bards (significantly changed), rangers (significantly changed) and sorcerers (new class). You cannot Kit-bash feats into the game without trashing the system. Most prestige classes are simply either kits or variant classes anyway. Skills also require gutting the system. The rest (saves, bab) require full conversion to d20.

Thus, the only thing to really convert is monsters and spells. (and Magic Items, I guess.)

Monsters would be a giant pain to do. Most of WotC's monsters have been done before for 1e or 2e (and 2e is so close to 1e as to be transparent). Magic Items don't need alot of work either (except those that grant feats or skill bonuses). Some spells would go over well (I converted false life to 2e), but other's might not (Polar Ray is death under the old HD system.)

That leaves me with two suggestions, play 1e but use some of the concepts behind 2e/3e monsters/spells/whatnot, or play 3e but limit some options and such to maintain a 1e feel.

Dialgo should be through here at some point, he might lend some advice.
 

GENEWEIGEL

Explorer
Remathilis said:
I guess it depends on what you're converting.

2e was so close to 1e in basic mechanics little conversion is needed for the few things that changed. (Bards, for example). The rest of 2e is pretty much plug and pray.

3.X requires enough work to seriously make me ask "why?" Almost all the 3e races exist in 1e, as do all classes but bards (significantly changed), rangers (significantly changed) and sorcerers (new class). You cannot Kit-bash feats into the game without trashing the system. Most prestige classes are simply either kits or variant classes anyway. Skills also require gutting the system. The rest (saves, bab) require full conversion to d20.

Thus, the only thing to really convert is monsters and spells. (and Magic Items, I guess.)

Monsters would be a giant pain to do. Most of WotC's monsters have been done before for 1e or 2e (and 2e is so close to 1e as to be transparent). Magic Items don't need alot of work either (except those that grant feats or skill bonuses). Some spells would go over well (I converted false life to 2e), but other's might not (Polar Ray is death under the old HD system.)

That leaves me with two suggestions, play 1e but use some of the concepts behind 2e/3e monsters/spells/whatnot, or play 3e but limit some options and such to maintain a 1e feel.

Dialgo should be through here at some point, he might lend some advice.
Thanks! I'm looking to do this for the fans:

1) Break out your classic Advanced books (Anniversary time, etc.)

2) Get a new module.

3) Print out conversion PDF.

4) 1,2,3...you're playing again.


Well feats and skills don't have to be considered. No problem with that.

Prestige classes can become the nearest class. Thats easy.

Spells need segments. So a segment conversion chart is a must.

Experience points for magic items need redoing. Those that affect skills and feats can be granted combat oriented bonuses where applicable if too mundane for an over-the-top magical effect. So a suggested conversion is in order.

Weapons need vs. AC adjustments with some imagined or historical accuracy to be considered. So this would be tough.

New weird monsters need redone treasure type, xp and dungeon levels. Perhaps a conversion chart to adapt new modules would have to be in order with a few examples from the core books.

What else?
 


Wycen

Explorer
Well, off the top of my head I'd say this seems not too challenging a task. All you do is straight class conversions, dropping feats and skills all together and using the old rules for magic spells and items. You just have to reimpose restrictions like human paladins and true neutral druids. Characters that don't fit either are grandfathered in or you let them advance at the old house ruled double the xp value each level.

Unless you are wanting to keep something particular about 3E?
 

Algolei

Explorer
I have to admit, converting from 3E to 1E sounds weird to me. What does 3E have that 1E could possibly need?

I've done some converting of 3E stuff to my own houserules for 1E/2E, but it involved changing the rules into my own unique version (which I call 6E, because it is 1E + 2E + 3E :) ).
 

rounser

First Post
You'd be better off just buying some Hacklopedias, and adapting other Hackmaster material, Geneweigel. You can use the stats directly, and arguably the material is a lot more creatively inspired and cool (albeit very wild and wooly) than 3E's offerings, where the creative focus seems to have been poured into rules instead. Watch out for stuff like 3rd level "save or become disabled" spells though; Hackmaster balance is shoddier than 1E IMO, but some of the flavorsome concepts for monsters, magic items and spells are pure gold.
I have to admit, converting from 3E to 1E sounds weird to me. What does 3E have that 1E could possibly need?
Those mirror people from the new Fiend Folio make the cut, I think.
 
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Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
Alternatively, perhaps one of the forums which caters specifically to people interested in running 1e/2e might be a more productive location for such a request?

I'd imagine that you'd gain a lot more support there than here.

Cheers
 

Derulbaskul

Explorer
As someone old enough to have played through all of D&D's incarnations... I think I'll just pray for you.

You really want to bring back weapon vs armour class?

Yes, I must pray for you.... ;)
 

diaglo

Adventurer
way ahead of you Gene.
i've converted 1edADnD, 2edADnD, 2000ed, and 3.11ed for Workgroups material into a useable format for OD&D(1974).
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
GENEWEIGEL said:
Weapons need vs. AC adjustments with some imagined or historical accuracy to be considered. So this would be tough.
People actually use these? Good God. I'd rather grapple, pummel and overbear -- and that's saying something. This part, in particular, might be more trouble than it's worth. I'd concentrate on converting the things that people are most likely to get real use out of.
 

Whisper72

Explorer
If you want to be able to use 3.x ed modules under the 1st Ed system, simply recast the monsters to monsters from 1st Ed (between MM1, MM2 and FF should not be too diff), use the weapons etc. as per 1st Ed books. Etc.

The only thing you still run into is th whole DC/save crap you'll have to convert to recognizable save / check rolls in 1st Ed.... shouldn't be too hard now would it?
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
My basics for converting 3E to 1E:

Ignore any plusses. A hit dice score of 4d12+16 becomes simply 4 HD in 1E. (or 4+1 if you like) Damage works likewise: 1d12+6 converts to 1d12

NPCs - pick an AD&D class that is close, and use that at the given level.

Spell casting times are simple: equal level for Wizard/Sorcerer spells, equal level+3 for Cleric/Druid spells for those that take 1 action; otherwise straight conversion.

The best reason for converting 3E to 1E would have to be Gary Gygax's Necropolis. :)

Saving Throws: if the DC is 20-24 give a -2 penalty to the save; 25-29 give a -4 penalty, 30+ give a -6 penalty. If the DC is 10-14, give a +2 bonus. The type of save should be obvious in 1E.

I don't see any reason why it can't be done "on the fly"; I can do similar for 1E to 3E, so the reverse should be simple.

The one thing to remember is the divergence in level requirements: a 1st level adventure in both systems is fairly similar, but a 15th level 3E adventure probably needs 18th+ level 1E characters.

Cheers!
 

T. Foster

First Post
Might such conversion be easier for some of the 3E/d20 modules that are themselves conversions from OAD&D? I've specifically got in mind RJK's "Dark Druids" (which I have, and would like to run, except I can't get past all the d20-ese) and the well-regarded Necromancer Games stuff -- Rappan Athuk, Tomb of Abysthor, etc. "Necropolis" would probably fit in this category as well (since I played in it using OAD&D rules at a con in 1988 -- with EGG as the DM). At very least such modules shouldn't have too much that's conceptually all that foreign from OAD&D -- kobold were-dire weasel assassins, heavy emphasis on feats and templates and prestige classes and such. For such "old school feel" modules it should mostly just be a matter of coming up with equivalent stats for monsters, spells, and items.

What other 3E and d20 adventures and sourcebooks besides those I mentioned above are particularly ripe for conversion to OAD&D? Any of that Goodman Games stuff that has the "mock-old-school" art and layout?
 

Kid Charlemagne

I am the Very Model of a Modern Moderator
I'm surprised no ones mentioned this, but isn't there supposed to be a "rules-light" book coming out? I forget the bublsiher, but if recall correctly, there was even some thought that EGG himself would do Castle **cough**Hawk for it...

Essentially the idea was to distill 3E down to a simple, 1E-style.

That would seem to be the ideal route for Gene and Diaglo.
 

Elodan

Explorer
Kid Charlemagne said:
I'm surprised no ones mentioned this, but isn't there supposed to be a "rules-light" book coming out? I forget the bublsiher, but if recall correctly, there was even some thought that EGG himself would do Castle **cough**Hawk for it...

Essentially the idea was to distill 3E down to a simple, 1E-style.

That would seem to be the ideal route for Gene and Diaglo.
I believe you're talking about Castles and Crusades which Troll Lord Games is going to release sometime this year.
 

Figured C&C might come up in this thread :)
While I am really excited about C&C, I don't think it has much to do with Gene's proposal.
If I read it right, Gene's calling for a collaborative conversion of any/all post-1e D&D materials - that's 2e and 3/3.5e - back into AD&D format.
So, since C&C is actually going to be a whole new OGL (not d20, IIRC) ruleset, it's outside the bailiwick, so to speak.
However... I'll bet that any item retroconverted to AD&D will play pretty easily under C&C.
Nice to see this thread containing civil disagreement and constructive criticism, all.

My $.02: Some of the material should be avoided - particularly the 2e modules I call "train rides", i.e. PC "railroaders".
 

Coredump

First Post
My question would be why bother? If you want to run 1e, scan ebay for the old modules and run them. There were a ton of 1e/2e modules, I can't imagine you have used them all.
 

MarauderX

First Post
Hmmm, I'd be interested if only it went back even further, to OD&D, just so I can convert it back to 3.5 again. You won't find me cracking any 2E books anytime soon, and unless there is a very, very cool plot I'm not touching 1E either.

If you make some progress by all means post it up in the Conversions forum and the rest of us can drag it to whatever version we want from there.

Oh, and before Diaglo says it, there is no distilling down to OD&D. OD&D is the only true game; all other imitators are mere phantasmal images of the real game. :eek:
 

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