Level Up (A5E) Maybe switching over to Level Up -- I have three big questions -- seeking suggestions

Hi, I'm leaning toward converting our entire campaign into A5E. And soon. Like in the next two weeks.
For a few years, we've been playing our own home-crafted Freeform D&D, which is 90% storytelling and roleplaying, with an occasional symbolic DC 10 die roll (+/- Advantage or Disadvantage) or drawing a card from a deck. And we'll still use that in good weather when we hike-n-play (our usual mode).

But this week, I'm feeling urgency to get into a robust system.
I'm a firm boycotter of WOTC for the foreseeable future.
Yet some newcomer kids who are joining us only know about 5E.
Now, in their first session yesterday, I already made my speech to them about how I'm not buying any more new WOTC D&D products.
But their energy level is off the charts...so much so that our Freeform D&D kinda isn't working. They are all over the place! In a fun way, but kinda too much.
They (and I, as their DM) could benefit from some structure. So that they can look at the book or the online tools page, and make measured decisions.
And prior to going "freeform", my guys were most familiar with 5E. (Though we ended up hating it in some ways.) But that's what they know.
Plus, I appreciate the ENWorld community (usually!).
So A5E is at the top of my list.

Here are my three big questions for which I'm seeking guidance and comments:

1) Of course, normally I would buy the hardcover books straight off, but I can't afford to re-buy them if/when A5E is re-issued as a non-OGL version (hopefully soon). Do you think that the A5E Tools website, and maybe the PDF purchases would be wieldy enough to run a whole campaign on in the meantime? I'm not the kind of DM who keeps a computer at the table. Does anyone have any word on when the non-OGL A5E might come out? Is it a matter of weeks, months, or years?

2) Is it pretty 'obvious' how to convert the 5E PHB subclasses into A5E equivalents? Because most of our legacy characters were originally based on 5E subclasses. Is there some kind of conversion chart or something? For example, is an Way of the Open Hand Monk 'obviously' equivalent to a certain kind of Adept subclass?

3) We have a whole bunch of weird PC ancestries and sidekicks in play:
-Awakened Snake
-Half-Leprechaun (and full Leprechaun)
-Cute Goblin
-Frogman (i.e. Bullywug)
-Harpy Ninja [Edit: I just saw the 3PP Harpy Heritage PDF, and bought it!]
-Ogre
-Happy Skeleton Sidekick
-Tiefling with inate Stoneskin spell
-Aaracocra
-Were-Bear
-Cat which can transform into a Panther
-Flying Miniature Goat
-Twig Blight

I just bought the 3PP book: Homebrew and Hacking: Crafting Heritages and Cultures, which looks to be a big help in this regard. Any other pointers?

-Travis H.
Berkshire-Columbia D&D Club, Massachusetts-New York
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

1. Those decisions are all still unmade, much less planned on a timeline yet. The tools site is useful for encounter/character reason and referencing a specific rule, but would be somewhat tricky to use as an exclusive resource, particularly if you weren't already familiar with the system. I think it's doable however, particular with a pdf.

2. A5E classes are compatible straight up with O5E archetypes, though there are pretty clear "replacements" for nearly everything in the PHB in the core books with different thematic powers. The only significant thing to work around is that the A5E fighter doesn't get Action Surge, so triggered abilities reliant on it should be moved to X/short rest powers. Oh, and the Monk was renamed Adept and the Paladin renamed Herald.

3. I think that supplement will probably see you through with some homebrew work. Since of that could be covered by options in the dungeon delver's guide or from the gate pass gazette, but I don't think you need to go spend on everything they've put out.
 
Last edited:

TheHand

Adventurer
Throwing my 2 coppers in as well...

1. The tools website is quite robust and you can navigate to each adventuring class' page and step through all the features pretty nicely. There's a character builder tool as well. Without any computers at the table, it might be a challenge going with pdf's and web tools only, unless you print out necessary monster stats & such ahead of time. Having a laptop or a tablet might be useful to have on hand without the books. If you have players familiar with 5e they should grok onto A5E pretty quickly.

2. Yes, I think it's very apparent which classes match up with their O5e counterparts. Some don't necessarily have 1-for-1 mappings, but you'll probably find a subclass that fills the same role or has similar features. We ported over many O5e characters with little trouble. If you're willing to make use of O5e subclasses, the A5e classes are designed to be backwards compatible with them, meaning you can use a A5e class with an O5e subclass if someone absolutely has their must-have favorite.

3. With all of the non-human and uncommon ancestries you listed, I would highly recommend the 3pp A5e supplement "Handbook of Heritages" on Drivethru RPG, written by @Faolyn. We use it at our table.
 

xiphumor

Hero
The above answers are pretty good, so I’ll just add in a testimonial that all of my players chose to use O5e subclasses for our A5e campaign (with occasional homebrew tweaks). I would go so far as to actively encourage blending O5e and A5e resources. To me, that’s one of the strengths of the game.

That being said, if you give us a list of subclasses, we as a community could probably point you to be closest A5e archetypes.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
For number 1:

Even if we are able to De-OGL-Ify A5e it's just gonna change some names.

Druid becomes Primalist. Magic Missile becomes Arcane Bolts or Starlight Shots or something similar.

The actual -text- that comprises every class, spell, monster, and feat was freshly written when the books were put together. None of it was plagiarized or lifted from the 5e SRD.

Even if Armor Class becomes Defense and Dexterity becomes Agility you'll still get your "Defense" by adding together 10 + Agility bonus + Armor. And melee attacks with Might instead of Strength and Training instead of proficiency will be 1d20 + Might bonus + Training.

Of course if WotC puts the core rules into the Creative Commons we might not even have to do that. Still probably have to do some monster and spell renaming, though.
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
What changes if any haven't been made yet (including name changes). We've prepared ways to deal with this or that, but we don't know if this or that is a problem yet—it's a very sticky wicket, time and money are both being spent figuring out how to un-sticky it as expediently as possible.

If it were me I'd make the switch and get the basic books now (starting with the AG and T&T), and then pick up more of them (the Monstrous Menagerie and GPG Annual) after the dust settles a little bit. Also aye some features got pulled out of classes to make room for other stuff, like the aforementioned Action Surge, so use discretion when figuring a replacement archetype feature should that come up (it has not come up in my Level Up games).
 
Last edited:

3. With all of the non-human and uncommon ancestries you listed, I would highly recommend the 3pp A5e supplement "Handbook of Heritages" on Drivethru RPG, written by @Faolyn. We use it at our table.
Well, we’ll need a Goblin Heritage for converting Droopy the Cute Goblin 🥺, so yeah I’ll pick it up—thanks!
 
Last edited:



What changes if any haven't been made yet (including name changes). We've prepared ways to deal with this or that, but we don't know if this or that is a problem yet—it's a very sticky wicket, time and money are both being spent figuring out how to un-sticky it as expediently as possible.

If it were me I'd make the switch and get the basic books now (starting with the AG and T&T), and then pick up more of them (the Monstrous Menagerie and GPG Annual) after the dust settles a little bit. Also aye some features got pulled out of classes to make room for other stuff, like the aforementioned Action Surge, so use discretion when figuring a replacement archetype feature should that come up (it has not come up in my Level Up games).
I like all the helpful things folks said in this thread.
Okay, you convinced me -- I ordered the hardcover AG and T&T. I want to get crackin'.
I'm glad to patronize ENP, yet I hope there's at least a small discount when the de-OGLed version comes out.
 
Last edited:


Selganor

Explorer
You might want to check out the A5E-Resources on this site. There are quite a few things that can help. Cheat sheets, Spell cards, ...

I don't have the physical books (yet... but AG and T&T are on their way) but just with the pdfs on a tablet (if for example a player wants to read things like full class descriptions or equipment lists) or a phone/chromebook nearby to check a5e.tools for something specific I had no problem running things.

Of course, complete texts of features (and spells, maneuvers, ...) on the sheets help a lot.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top