View Full Version : Kobold Quarterly On Converting Monsters to D&D

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10-15-2014, 02:10 AM
Originally posted on 10-15-2014 02:01 AM at koboldquarterly.com (http://www.koboldquarterly.com)

http://www.koboldpress.com/k/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/WerelionFighter-300x186.jpg (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/350683997/southlands-new-fantasy-options-for-pathfinder-rpg)
One of the unlocked goals of the Southlands Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/350683997/southlands-new-fantasy-options-for-pathfinder-rpg) includes monsters for the fifth edition of D&D. You can learn more about converting monsters from one system to another from Rodrigo GarcŪa Carmona, who talks to us about both math and the language of conversion in this blog post. A conversion is more art than science. Please, donít misinterpret my words. Iím not saying that maths arenít important, because they are. In fact, I teach discrete maths as part of my day job! But getting a monster, a character race, a spell, and so on from one system to another is something that canít be done properly just using a formula.
Converting between two different game systems is very much like translating between two languages. You canít proceed word by word, ŗ la Google Translate, and hope to achieve a good result. Thatís not how things work. You have to step back, take a look, and try to find what the original designer tried to convey. In other worlds: You need to immerse yourself in the spirit of the creation and find its meaning. Only when you fully grasp this spirit can you shape your take on the concept using the mechanics of the target system. The mechanics, by the way, are nothing more than the grammar and vocabulary of that particular language. If you capture this spirit, your reader will easily see the original authorís intent in your conversion, and your work will be as invisible as possible, which is a good thing.
But why do I write all this? Why this discussion about the spirit of a conversion? Because Iím converting some material from the Southlands to the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, fully diving into the spirit of the Southlands, and I can assure you Iím having an amazing experience. Iíve been working in several monsters and a player charactersí race, the gnolls, and I wanted to talk a little bit about these.
I have always loved the Middle East and its themes, so I was already predisposed to like Southlands, but the monsters Iím working with are incredibly flavorful, and the gnolls Iím converting to Dungeons & Dragons have left me with the desire of start making a new gnoll character right now. But, alas, Iím going to be the DM in my home campaign, so that leaves the monsters as my toys.
In fact, Wolfgang asked me to choose my favorite creature, but I truly canít. From the cunning machinations of a demon that can turn into a gem, to the cruel spin put into a monster as traditional as a mummy, Iím truly liking all the material thatís coming my way. If anything, I hope that Iíll have the opportunity to make even more conversions. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the fifth edition and Southlands combination proves to be popular and well-loved.
And, since the 600 hundred backers stretch goal has been reached, it seems that my desire will come true. Probably the blue genie that came out from that dusty lamp the other day had something to do with thisÖ
Some of the remaining stretch goals have yet to be reached in this Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/350683997/southlands-new-fantasy-options-for-pathfinder-rpg)! Join in on the fun, or kick in more if you’ve already signed up, and you can help us reach further heights of Southlands campaigning. We’re also giving you a peek at the werelion fighter art from the Southlands book as a part of this article, so please do enjoy!

Find this (http://www.koboldpress.com/k/front-page18637.php) and other great articles at koboldquarterly.com (http://www.koboldquarterly.com/).