Friday, September 6, 2013

Conversion question

Timothy over at The Other Side (an awesome blog by the way, check it out.) Was talking about this.

I was going to answer in his section but I thought I would answer it here, since I feel inspired to do a little bit of work even though it is a billion degrees outside.  (Granted the sun has gone down so I am much happier, yet I still feel a bit sick and blah blah blah.)

He question was: So when looking for a OSR supplement, adventure or add-on do the clone rules matter to you?  And also:
What are your experiences? Do you ignore S&W's single save when using the Tome of Horrors with Basic Fantasy?   Do you convert on the fly?

The first thing I want to tackle is his first question, which I will do a bit of a disservice to by asking this question.  Why only do OSR supplements?  I get he is asking about the old school idea, and most of what I run is old school, (More 2E than anything, yet I have run 1E and a 0E once or twice) And when it comes to them, I convert if I need to.  Or I just take it, squint at the numbers and fudge something here or there.

But coming back to my question, why only OSR stuff?  There is something to be said for the OSR.  It is a great thing and I love it.  Yet, there are some good things from things not in the OSR.  Some things from 3E and even 4E are interesting.  Yeah, you need to convert them and that takes some time, but I wan to put in time into a campaign that I will be running, therefore, why not put the time in to convert some of the cool ideas from the newer editions? Heck, there is the Pathfinder mega campaign of Rise of the Runelords that I want to try to sift through and take out parts I like.  I just got another big book called The Shackled City Adventure Path.  Why?  Because it takes place in a volcano! That is why.  If you are knowledgeable with the rules of the system you are using and running, then anything is grist for the mill.  Anything can be converted.  There are some things in 4E I have taken a shine too, and there are even things in all of the player's packets of D&D Next that I want to take and cannibalize for my own mutant version of 2E.

Do I ignore things, yes.  Sometimes you have to.  Anything from 3E and upward has feats which I don't like, you can either make them some nifty ability the creature has, some special training that the NPC has or just ignore it if it is something rather silly like Power Attack.

I try not to convert on the fly anymore, since the last time I tried that, my gaming group met up with a goblin with three arms and I have not been able to live down the "sassy hand" gesture.  (LONG STORY!)

Of course, this is just my way of doing things.  your mileage may vary.


  1. Dude. DUDE. VOLCANO. I would -TOTALLY- play a game set in a volcano! (Though it begs the question, how soon before we have to save vs heat stroke?)