Module Conversion

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SkinnyOrc
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Module Conversion

Postby SkinnyOrc » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:50 am

With the thread recently on adventures from other systems to use for AFF turning up loads of good stuff it seems like it's overdue I get this out there. I've been working on something for converting D&D modules (B/X and BECMI D&D, AD&D and OSR) to AFF2 for over a year now. I kid you not. But I figure it's better to get something out in case it's useful to people trying to convert stuff.

What's taken so long is I wanted to come up with a simple way for people to know how much to adjust the numbers in each encounter based on the level of the module. Low level modules need numbers increased, mid level might not need much change and higher level you actually need to reduce numbers (for starting characters, the goal posts move as they gain experience). The problem is that within a module the fights with 1 or 2 monsters need to increase a lot more for AFF2 than the ones with 4 or more, even though in D&D they were about the same difficulty. There's also other factors like armour and attacks that make a noticeable difference. I still haven't got that cracked so in the end I just stuck in the table I've put here before showing how dangerous an encounter is for given numbers and attack strength differences.

Anyway here it is.
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby Dupont » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:34 am

This looks superb and incredibly useful seeing as you can get hold of so many of those old D&D modules ( Have we linked those before/are we allowed to here?) Really looking forward to using this.


(its funny I was talking to Robb1 earlier about this era of D&D modules )
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby SkinnyOrc » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:41 am

Dupont wrote:This looks superb and incredibly useful
Thanks, I hope so. There's still a fair bit of judgement needed converting something but it should make it easier. One good thing out of all the time I've spent trying to figure out a system for encounter scaling is I have one module fully converted and a few more partially done. My plan is to do them as overlays to the module, so not reproducing anything seeing as they're still in print electronically.

Dupont wrote:Have we linked those before/are we allowed to here?
If you mean "unofficial" links then don't think so and best not :) The official source is http://www.dmsguild.com/ and $4.99 is pretty good for something that size if you're actually going to run it.

Dupont wrote:its funny I was talking to Robb1 earlier about this era of D&D modules
Ha, me too! Yep he's another who's keen on reusing some of these for AFF. For me there's a nostalgia factor definitely, I have fond memories of many of them. But also I do think that a lot more effort was put into adventures at that time even if some are a bit old fashioned. It was before it was realised they weren't good money makers because you only sold one copy per playing group.
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby shintokamikaze » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:26 am

Very nice job 8)
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby Dupont » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:39 am

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Dupont wrote:This looks superb and incredibly useful
Thanks, I hope so. There's still a fair bit of judgement needed converting something but it should make it easier. One good thing out of all the time I've spent trying to figure out a system for encounter scaling is I have one module fully converted and a few more partially done. My plan is to do them as overlays to the module, so not reproducing anything seeing as they're still in print electronically.


This makes a lot of sense and also makes it less time consuming too. Out of interest which Modules have you worked on so far - So I can start looking them up!?

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Dupont wrote:Have we linked those before/are we allowed to here?
If you mean "unofficial" links then don't think so and best not :) The official source is http://www.dmsguild.com/ and $4.99 is pretty good for something that size if you're actually going to run it.


I Didnt know all the old old stuff ( Moldvay era etc) were still in print... oops :P


SkinnyOrc wrote:
Dupont wrote:its funny I was talking to Robb1 earlier about this era of D&D modules
Ha, me too! Yep he's another who's keen on reusing some of these for AFF. For me there's a nostalgia factor definitely, I have fond memories of many of them. But also I do think that a lot more effort was put into adventures at that time even if some are a bit old fashioned. It was before it was realised they weren't good money makers because you only sold one copy per playing group.


Will you be providing suggestions on things like where to place some modules, or Allansian replacements for D&D cultures that might be important in some modules? I think some will be easy to drop anywhere obviously, but some will have particular types of enemies, cultures or scenery ( due to a few conversations recently theres a few things that leap out at me that I have on my mind exploring - Giants for instance springs to mind, or icey mountainous regions that have particular mood or feel to them/Or races and cultures).
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby Dupont » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:16 pm

I agree with you about often better content, I think there was a great deal of creativity in this era and we had the support of 1 or 2 great magazines too. There was a lot of grey areas too where we as players were able to roleplay how we liked, it seems theres a lot of games now that try and simulate roleplaying for instance, within the framework of the rules themselves. That is often clever but it also leaves 'US' with not a lot to do, except follow the lead of the rules written into our character rather than genuinely create, usually on the fly. I like the ability to follow my own muse on when and how to roleplay, either as GM or player so this seems a little counter intuitive to me, too clever if you like. It's one of AFF2's charms that it leaves you room to breathe.

I have noticed Dave Morris posting a few articles lately that touch on these areas too and its been a bit of a relief to see someone of his experience challenging some current modes of thought ( If Twitch Streams are anything to go by ).

Thinking about it though, we are a bit spoilt. We have access to so much now, whether its current or older stuff and we have the nostalgia too! :mrgreen:
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby Robb 1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:58 pm

The converter looks excellent Skinny orc :D I remember you telling me about it. IWill be using it to convert Fire giants as looking at The G modules or at least parts of they fit the Norse setting I will be using for my group as mentioned to DuPont. Putting them through the Ring of Terror from Warlock magazine first and converting a Necklace of Brisigamen from an old 80s White Dwarf first though How's Saltmarsh going? :D
Keep up the good work :mrgreen:
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby SkinnyOrc » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:37 am

Dupont wrote:which Modules have you worked on so far
The one I have just about ready is UK5 Eye of the Serpent. Which is probably not one of the more played modules as it was for either 4 1st level or a single higher level PC. But I've got suggestions to rearrange it to get rid of the railroad start and use twice as much of it by climbing up and then back down the mountain. Because of the low level of the original it'll be good for 6 starting characters or 4 a bit more experienced but probably won't scale past that.

Then I've also largely done B10 Night's Dark Terror and UK4 When A Star Falls. The others I've made a start on are I8 Ravager of Time and some of the other UK modules.

SkinnyOrc wrote:I Didnt know all the old old stuff ( Moldvay era etc) were still in print... oops :P
I remember they released them all as PDFs on a website years ago, maybe when WotC took over, and then it just disappeared. I guess with the success of DriveThruRPG they put them all out again. Anyway I'd rather not draw Wizard's attention.

SkinnyOrc wrote:Will you be providing suggestions on things like where to place some modules, or Allansian replacements for D&D cultures that might be important in some modules?
Yep I will be freely giving my uninformed opinion on that sort of thing ;)
Last edited by SkinnyOrc on Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby shintokamikaze » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:20 am

I am using it at the moment, it works very well.
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby SkinnyOrc » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:05 am

Dupont wrote:there was a great deal of creativity in this era and we had the support of 1 or 2 great magazines too.
Yep they were hobbyist who found themselves getting paid. Writing for their own players and for conventions meant things got real world tested to death before being published. Even later you get the impression they had plenty of time to develop and fine tune. But that was when the sky looked like the limit for growth and TSR hadn't hit any financial rocks. Once it became about hitting schedules and budgets that changed. Course these days it's gone full circle and a lot of material's written by hobbyists again!

With the magazines, there's a huge amount of scenarios in Dragon, Dungeon, Imagine (the UK Dragon), White Dwarf and so on. Those aren't in print anymore even as PDFs but aren't hard to get hold of.

Dupont wrote:a lot of games now that try and simulate roleplaying for instance, within the framework of the rules themselves.
Seems to be a bit of a trend to make RPGs more like board games, maybe to broaden who buys them. Agree AFF avoids that, it's purely a RPG. There's plenty of those around too of course but a lot are over complicated and many that aren't (like all the OSR clones) have all the baggage of D&D conventions.

Dupont wrote:Thinking about it though, we are a bit spoilt. We have access to so much now, whether its current or older stuff and we have the nostalgia too! :mrgreen:
True :)
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby SkinnyOrc » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:50 am

Robb 1 wrote:Will be using it to convert Fire giants as looking at The G modules or at least parts of they fit the Norse setting
The giant modules fit a Norse setting better than they did Greyhawk, that'll work great. Haven't read those magazine scenarios but Warlock and the early White Dwarfs had some good stuff in them.

Robb 1 wrote:How's Saltmarsh going? :D
Ha I thought you were doing them! ;) Truth is it'd be a while before I got there, I'll be finishing what I've started first. But happy to write up the ideas for filling out the town and tweaking the final attack.
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby Robb 1 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:15 pm

Left Saltmarsh for now typical of me the Norse setting my big all consuming thing as well as killing of my mates teenage sons pc in a zombie apocalypse non AFF rules so same here if I get organised and start it Will let you know :D
Just bought Neil Gaimans Norse Mytology so loads of inspiration there. Thinking of Neil Gaiman Neverwhere would be an interesting modern AFF setting will wait for Stellar adventures
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby Dupont » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:29 pm

I've been reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman too ( Actually I've had a Finnish friend read it over Discord to me, her accent just makes it feel so authentic too). It got me reading Norse game settings too with a fresh interest.

I would love to play in a Neverwhere setting, although a friend is about to run a 'Hunter' game for me and I know he loves that setting too...

I have to say I am really looking forward to what you 2 come up with on this conversion line. I wasted hours poring over old modules and Imagine mags yesterday
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby SkinnyOrc » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:59 am

All the modules I've been working on should be easy enough to fit into Titan. The trickiest will be Nights Dark Terror, because it needs a forested borderland area near mountains. But that could fit a lot of places.

The ones I'd be keen to do but would really be hard to find a home for are David Cook's X4 Master of the Desert Nomads and it's sequel X5 Temple of Death. Those involve a trek from a civilised land, across a desert and then a large mountain range to get to an enemy land that's invading the first one, travel across that, infiltrate the enemy leaders citadel and assassinate him! Probably only The Old World has the large kingdoms near each other for that but you still need a region with those geographical features. I was thinking the desert could be southern Lendleland and the mountain range the Anvil of the Gods. Then Hule (the enemy land) could be south of the mountains in the big area down to the sea with no labels on it.
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Re: Module Conversion

Postby shintokamikaze » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:42 am

SkinnyOrc wrote:All the modules I've been working on should be easy enough to fit into Titan. The trickiest will be Nights Dark Terror, because it needs a forested borderland area near mountains. But that could fit a lot of places.

The ones I'd be keen to do but would really be hard to find a home for are David Cook's X4 Master of the Desert Nomads and it's sequel X5 Temple of Death. Those involve a trek from a civilised land, across a desert and then a large mountain range to get to an enemy land that's invading the first one, travel across that, infiltrate the enemy leaders citadel and assassinate him! Probably only The Old World has the large kingdoms near each other for that but you still need a region with those geographical features. I was thinking the desert could be southern Lendleland and the mountain range the Anvil of the Gods. Then Hule (the enemy land) could be south of the mountains in the big area down to the sea with no labels on it.


Amazing, Can't wait to read them all

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